Forensic Consulting Services

VERTEX is a premier construction claims firm serving contractors, owners, sureties, and insurance carriers on all types of projects from infrastructure to vertical construction. Our claims analysis generally involves an entitlement review, forensic scheduling to identify delay components, damage calculations, and fault allocation analysis.

Entitlement Review

VERTEX’s claim process starts with an entitlement analysis, which requires a review of contract documents, site specifications, construction schedules, and contemporaneous correspondence. In addition, VERTEX typically interviews key personnel to increase our understanding of the facts. VERTEX then determines the nature of the claim issue, whether it involves: Productivity; Acceleration; Differing Site Conditions; Added Scope / Quantum Meruit; Maladministration; Force Majeure; or any other number of claim categories. Once VERTEX has a complete understanding of the facts we offer our support-based opinions.

Damage Calculation

Once VERTEX completes its entitlement review and forensic scheduling evaluation, we move on to our damages analysis. VERTEX draws upon construction cost data from our portfolio of thousands of construction projects, industry standard construction cost data from various software providers such as RSMeans and Xactimate, subcontractor and vendor quotes on certain divisions of work, and actual cost data work already performed. We are experts in providing actual cost claims, estimated cost claims, and total/modified cost claims.

Forensic Scheduling

Many construction claims involve delay damage components. Therefore, VERTEX’s team of forensic schedulers are experts in the use of scheduling software that is commonly used on construction projects. We use this expertise, coupled with our real-world construction experience, to identify durational impacts that caused financial impacts to our clients. Scheduling impacts are often included in claims that involve: Productivity; Acceleration; Differing Site Conditions; Added Scope / Quantum Meruit; Maladministration; Force Majeure; or any other claim categories.

Fault Allocation

In certain instances VERTEX is asked to provide fault allocation opinions once we complete our claim review. In these instances, VERTEX reviews the issues, identifies the duties of the various parties involved in the design and construction of the project, assigns an initial responsibility, and then adjusts the fault allocation to account for patent conditions and follow-up work that covered up defective work, if appropriate.

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Key Personnel

Diana Minchella

Diana Minchella

Executive Vice President, Surety

As an Executive Vice President for VERTEX, Diana Minchella manages the surety claims consulting division nationwide. Ms. Minchella has a strong background in investigating and analyzing construction claims for contractors, owners, sureties and insurance carriers on a variety of projects including commercial, municipal, healthcare, transportation, wastewater treatment and solar facilities. Ms. Minchella has the experience and capabilities to review and defend against construction claims as well as to prepare affirmative claims. Her claims experience has involved construction delays, design defects, owner-initiated changes, unanticipated weather, differing site conditions, disruption, and defective work. As a claims consultant, Ms. Minchella has experience in analyzing schedules and calculating damages.

Ms. Minchella also has a strong background in construction management and civil engineering with an emphasis in structural engineering. As a project manager with VERTEX, Ms. Minchella has provided construction management and consulting services on numerous multi-million-dollar projects throughout the northeast. Many of these projects were distressed and required Ms. Minchella’s experience and leadership to bring the projects to completion. Ms. Minchella is a respected consultant in the surety claims industry.

Ryan Phillips

Ryan Phillips, PE, CCM, CEP, LEED AP, CDT

Executive Vice President, Litigation Support

Ryan Phillips has over a decade of construction management and construction claim experience in the Rocky Mountain Region. Specific expertise includes: surety consulting and project completion, owner’s representation, construction oversight, construction claim analysis and preparation, construction defect cost estimating, liability review for construction defect matters, construction bid package preparation, and cost to complete preparation. As the Executive Vice President of Litigation Support, Mr. Phillips oversees contract claims and other legal consulting requiring environmental, engineering and construction expertise. 

Bill McConnell

Bill McConnell, PE, JD, MSCE, CDT

Chief Executive Officer

Bill McConnell is a co-founder and CEO of The Vertex Companies, Inc. Bill has a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Maine, a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Denver, a Master of Science degree from Columbia University, and he is working towards his Doctor of Philosophy degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Colorado (anticipated graduation in May 2020). Bill also completed a part-time three-year business program at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Bill has worked in the construction industry for nearly his entire life. He rose through the ranks from a union construction worker during high school and college summers, to a project engineer at a top 50 construction company, to a senior executive at VERTEX. In addition, Bill is a top expert witness for construction disputes as he has testified approximately 170 times, most notably for cost and/or standard of care opinions. In addition, many construction, engineering, and law organizations have published his articles and reports over the past two decades. As the CEO of VERTEX, Bill sets the strategy for VERTEX’s future.

News

Lawrence Daniels Joins VERTEX as Senior Technical Advisor, Environmental Insurance

January 21, 2020

The Vertex Companies, Inc. (VERTEX) is pleased to announce that Lawrence D. Daniels, P.G., has joined our organization as a Senior Technical Advisor for our Environmental Insurance Division. Mr. Daniels most recently served as Assistant Vice President for the Global Risk Advisors/ESIS division of Chubb. In addition to more than 10 years of environmental consulting…

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Happy Holidays from VERTEX

December 30, 2019

VERTEX would like to thank our clients, vendors, and employees for your continuous support throughout 2019.  Best wishes for a wonderful holiday season and a great start to 2020!

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Boston University Center for Computing & Data Sciences Groundbreaking

December 10, 2019

Rendering image courtesy of KPMB Architects  On Thursday, December 5, 2019, team members from Compass Project Management, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Vertex Companies, Inc., attended the official Groundbreaking Ceremony for the Boston University Center for Computing & Data Sciences.  Due to open in 2022, the center will be state of the art in…

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VERTEX's CEO, Bill McConnell, to Publish Fundamentals of Construction Claims Book

November 18, 2019

VERTEX’s CEO, Bill McConnell, recently executed a publishing agreement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc. (NYSE: JW.A) for a book titled, “Fundamentals of Construction Claims: A 10-Step Guide for General Contractors, Subcontractors, Architects, and Engineers.” The book is expected to be published by the Summer of 2020. Bill has a Bachelor of Science degree in…

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VERTEX Creates Master’s Programs for Employees in Partnership with CU Denver’s Engineering School

November 11, 2019

During a recent CU Board of Regents meeting, VERTEX’s Chief Learning Officer, Russell Fitzpatrick, and CU Denver’s College of Engineering, Design and Computing Dean, Martin Dunn, led a discussion about the success of their partnership and what made it possible. “VERTEX and CU share a vision for the future that incorporates a lifetime of learning…

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Blog

International Contracting - What Contractors Need to Know

December 11, 2019

The opportunity to work overseas can be exciting, lucrative and, frankly, challenging. One key to success is to ask the right questions and know the requirements as you plan, staff, work, and, ultimately, complete your project outside of the United States. You may already be aware of some of the challenges of doing business overseas….

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Using a Windows Analysis to Evaluate Schedule Delays

August 15, 2019

A Windows Analysis, sometimes referred to as a contemporaneous period analysis, is one of the more commonly used methods of forensic schedule analysis. In this post, we provide an overview of the method along with a brief discussion of its strengths and weaknesses. What is a Windows Analysis? A Windows Analysis is a forensic technique…

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Best Practices for Applying the “Measured Mile Method” in Loss-of-Productivity Claims

April 29, 2019

Construction claim practitioners face many challenges in settling productivity claims due to the complexities involved in quantifying damages. Since a worker’s productivity is influenced by an infinite number of factors, discretely measuring the effect of a select impact is impossible. However, methods do exist to estimate loss of efficiency on construction projects – the most…

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What is an Expert Witness and how can they help me?

March 5, 2019

With the continued growth in litigation over the past several years, VERTEX has seen a steady increase in expert consulting work to support our clients. VERTEX has been retained to act on behalf of plaintiffs and defendants in regards to liability and damages. The main goal of expert consulting is to add value to the…

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Notice Provisions in Construction Contracts - What You Need to Know

February 21, 2019

Construction contracts most often require contractors to issue written notice of claims and change orders. The purpose of providing notice in writing of a change or impact is to afford the notified party adequate time to investigate the matter and manage associated risks. In the most basic terms, notice provisions detail what is expected from…

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